Travelling can be fun until the novelty wears off, hence I frequently find that the biggest upside of travel is coming home to wet green New Zealand and my wife of course.
It is nice to have the cloudless days of California and (currently) Sydney but the lack of rain for day after day after month has its toll.
Pasture in rural NSW looks like Blenheim does in March after a hot NZ summer, brown and rather crispy.
Farmers are feeding out to keep stock alive and this is in the winter.
I had a whirlwind trip to the Cultivate show in Columbus Ohio USA where I was for five days followed by a 17 hour flight to Sydney where I visited for a further 4 days.
The Cultivate show has grown immensely since I was last there some 15 years ago, in fact I hardly recognised Columbus which as the state capital of Ohio (good trivial pursuit question for non-American citizens), has done a Sterling job of up-marketing itself to be a visitor friendly hub of interesting foodie places with a generally favourable ambiance.
That said, it is noticeable to us "non-gun culture" types, the signs outside most stores, bars and hotels that inform you that you need to leave your guns outside when you enter the premises. However, I did not see any guns piled up outside or indeed anywhere safe to leave them, so I guess people were either like me, unarmed or had weapons concealed to the extent that they passed as non-packing clientele.
The Cultivate show is a combination of educational presentations and lectures plus a rather large trade show.
Unlike the trade show in Essen Germany held in January, which is a massive trade show, the Cultivate show is all in one large building. The Essen show is in 18 large buildings, with each building or hall being themed to a particular subject. Cultivate is similar to a typical trade show in NZ where everything is lumped in together, such as a TC supplier being next to a plastic pot manufacturer.
In one sense the Cultivate show is a good and accessible event, if you feel a need to be exposed to what is happening in the world of commercial horticulture outside our borders, and one that is held in a land not too far away from us by distance!
One of the reasons I went to Cultivate was to get some of the plants that KiwiFlora represent into a new initiative called "ThinkPlants™".
"ThinkPlants™" is a marketing initiative which has recognised that there is an opportunity to offer the independent garden retailers in the USA a range of product which will set them apart from the dominating big box stores.
This initiative also creates an opportunity for third party genetic suppliers to find a way to market, which is not through one of the mega global horticultural names.
This initiative is brand new and has come into existence via a collaboration between Danziger, Syngenta and Express Seed Company, (Express Seed Co is a seed and plant brokerage company), so some big names combining to take on some mega names.